Existing by the Expectations of Statistics

November 17, 2022

I decided through my faith and the urgency to share awareness about racism to attend Messiah University as a nursing student. I believe a nurse is not a position earned from extremely long hours of studying, but a career that entails endless care for the lives of others regardless of their ethnicity, gender, and age. A successful nurse treats every patient to the best of his or her abilities while acknowledging that every patient will have a different outcome.

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EliAnna (left) with her sister Mireliz, another co-founder of STAR

As a leader, I am willing to proactively educate others, but first I listened and let others teach me. Regardless of my environment, I don’t allow it to change my position because my achievement is becoming the leader I wanted in my community. I’ve learned that one’s weakness becomes another’s individuals’ opportunity. However, everyone has a choice to perceive their cup as half full or half empty. I wanted to be the one that takes every opportunity that no one else will take. I perceive obstacles as a stepping stone to achievement, but it allows me to grow in my weakness for it to become an opportunity of strength. It also forces me to take the first step even if I am the only one because I develop as a leader when I make a decision that risks my position, but benefits those around me. Being a leader is not about receiving the greatest accolades, but rather earning the best award through educating yourself to be the best individual you can be for others.

I am a first generation American, who is being raised by a dedicated and determined single mother. She devoted her time to work during the day and the was first to attend college by night, solely for her children’s future. In addition, she did not let labels like being a woman or Hispanic define her right to education. She unintentionally taught me to keep working in achieving my dream of attending college, while allowing me to appreciate education. 

My inspirational and phenomenal mother, the first individual in the family to attend college, taught me to follow my ambitions in becoming the first aspiring nurse in my family regardless of any impediments. I have not allowed this label to deter me from my right to prosper. I learned through my journey that challenges don’t justify surrendering one’s education, it means taking additional steps to go where one needs to be. Everyone has a first teacher who becomes their inspiration as my mother was for me. So, become what inspired you for others. Therefore, I want to be recognized as the first to be the example of what others can now dream of being realistic to achieve. 

Therefore, my experiences built the foundation and core values for my passion of helping others through education. Volunteerism is not about receiving the greatest accolades, but rather, you earn the best award through educating yourself to be the best individual you can be for others. Within my community, I am currently a co-founder of Stand Together Against Racism. Through my leadership role, I am able to actively involve myself in community outreach with social problems about racial injustice. STAR is about planting seeds in a desert, which will grow into an extraordinary forest. These seeds will bring life to an environment that was once dry. This forest will be the symbol of what was to what is. We are the seeds from various ethnicities, genders, and communities – Standing Together Against Racism, while being the best we can be.

My change started when I realized that today’s Latinx community has detrimentally been affected significantly primarily through education. Limiting the opportunities for this generation to hold a position within the society. I am a prime example as I was raised in the city, which did not provide the necessary education in regard to my learning disabilities. After moving to a predominantly white school for a better education, I encountered an opportunity to excel.

Nonetheless, I was not able to achieve it without resistance as an individual who was raised in the city by a Hispanic single mother. I did not allow these labels to incapacitate me from my right to prosper; instead, I asked to participate in a United Nations Day. I did a presentation about the Hispanic culture to the entire school accompanied by my mother and grandmother who cooked 500 pastelillos. 

I am EliAnna Bermudez, and my culture does not hinder me, but provides a unique opportunity to educate others about who I am. It’s unfortunate to know that only twenty percent of Hispanics in the U.S. attend college. I did not want to be another statistic; I want to be the CHANGE for my COMMUNITY. Therefore, I perceive my high-level of academic performance as an opportunity to create a voice for others to see that education empowers us in unity to overcome these labels that try to entrap my generation from a future and stand together for our rights as students, leaders, and Americans.

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